VR headset maker Oculus looks set to put your hands – or at least accurate representations of them – into its virtual worlds.
The Facebook-owned company has just announced the acquisition of two small tech firms: Nimble VR, a company that makes a hand-tracking camera attachment for the Oculus Rift headset; and 13th Lab, a company that works chiefly in the augmented reality field.
Nimble VR’s Sense camera, which has been designed primarily with the Rift in mind, uses a depth sensor to track the position and movement of the wearer’s hands, including individual fingers. It can then use this data to bring the hands into the virtual 3D space, meaning you can “see” your own hands in a game or other virtual world. That spells some exciting possibilities for game control and user interface.
13th Lab’s most interesting piece of tech is a 1:1 3D scanner that instantly detects the dimensions of the room which you’re in and recreates a 3D model of it for a video game. For Oculus Rift, that could mean walking around your real home and, in the virtual world, walking around in the exact same environment, albeit with lots of augmented reality stuff – such as enemies to shoot and objects to interact with – added in. Again, the possibilities are exciting.
Oculus hasn’t said precisely how it will use the new companies’ tech, but it’s clear that it has seen a lot of potential in both.